Archbishop Chrysostomas II offered the government the entire wealth of the Church in a bid to prevent a raid on Cypriot bank deposits. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Archbishop Chrysostomos II, who had urged for eurozone exit over an onerous bail-out, declared on Sunday that finance minister Michalis Sarris and central bank governor Panicos Demetriades should step down after allowing the EU-IMF lenders to devastate the island’s banking sector in return for a €10bn (£8.4bn) loan.
The missive is the latest public criticism to come from the island’s religious leader since his failed bid to avert a raid on Cypriot savings by offering the church’s entire wealth to shore up the struggling economy.
His call emerged a day after the central bank unveiled much worse than feared measures on uninsured deposits – those over €100,000 – in the island’s largest lender, Bank of Cyprus.
In an arrangement which will see more than €100m wiped off the Cypriot Orthodox Church’s assets, up to 60pc could be slashed from uninsured savings in the Bank of Cyprus, while large depositors in the island’s other major lender Laiki Bank stand to lose 80pc of anything over €100,000 as it is broken up and wound down.
“If I was satisfied, I would not have called on them the other day to resign and leave, because they have the same views as the troika [of international lenders],” said the archbishop.